GMO Answers, an initiative committed to responding to consumer questions about how their food is grown, released the findings of a new YouGov survey, finding that a majority of Americans aren't confident they definitely know what genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are and that this lack of knowledge may be driving overall uncertainty and discomfort. However, concern and confusion do not equate to rejection, as the survey finds that nearly the same number of Americans want to learn more about GMOs.

GMO Answers, Washington, D.C., conducted the survey to better understand public perceptions of GMOs. The survey's findings include:

  • 69% of consumers are not confident they know what GMOs are, and less than a third of Americans (32%) say they are comfortable with the use of GMOs in their food products.
  • Roughly 3 in 5 Americans are interested in learning more about GMOs.
    • 74% want to learn more about GMOs' impact on their overall health.
    • 67% are interested in learning more about the overall safety of GMOs.
  • 43% of consumers believe that food (in general) sold in the United States is safe for consumption, meaning there is widespread distrust as a whole when it comes to food production, despite the United States having the safest food supply in the world.

"Despite GMOs being part of our food supply for almost a quarter of a century, and global scientific consensus on the health and safety of this technology, Americans remain as confused as ever about how GMOs impact their lives and the world around them," says Michael Stebbins, director of external engagement for the Council for Biotechnology Information (CBI) and GMO Answers spokesperson. "That is why we at GMO Answers are committed to answering any questions about GMOs with information backed by validated, independent and peer-reviewed science. We will continue this mission to address GMO concerns and provide the answers consumers are looking for in a transparent and easy-to-access manner."

Total sample size was 1,213 adults. Fieldwork took place online Sept. 13-14.